Human Rights Violations in Iraq
Or, the Clay Feet of the Model
Iraq The Model I: The US military observed guerrillas in Beiji planting a roadside bomb and kept them under surveillance as they went to a house, then called down a bombing raid on the house. Unfortunately there was a civilian family of 14 in the building, including women and children in their pyjamas. Workers had pulled 8 bodies out of the rubble by evening, including small ones. Bombers are combatants and fair game, but, uh, wouldn’t it have been better to hit the bomb planters when they were out in the open? As it is, the civilian non-combatants in this family, were executed without trial for a relative’s crime. This is one more nail in the coffin of American popularity in Iraq.
Iraq The Model II: The Kurdistan authorities have sentenced an Austrian citizen of Kurdish extraction to 30 years in prison for publishing criticism on the internet of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani, accusing the writer of “defaming” Kurdistan. Kamal Sayid Qadir is appealing the decree of a special security court in Irbil, and has gone on a hunger strike. Ah, the joys of liberty in the new Iraq! This Arabic article explains that the Iraqi Journalists’ Guild is complaining about this case, too. Please go here and send the Kurdistan Regional Government a protest email (I guess under the rubric of “administration.”)
Iraq The Model III: One of the things the Sunni Arab and secular parties want investigated and cleared up before they drop their objections to the way the elections were conducted is the secret torture jails run by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The latter body has been infiltrated by the Badr Corps, a hardline Shiite paramilitary whose members were often trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards when they were in exile in Iran.
Iraq The Model IV: Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports [Ar.] that the Debaathification Committee in Iraq has begun pulling all works that praise the Baath regime in Iraq, which ruled 1968-2003, from the shelves of university libraries. The newly banned works include theses, research papers, books and other publications. They will be sequestered in a high-security special library and kept away from university students because “they are far from the scientific spirit” and because they glorify “the Baath ideology.” The Debaathification Committee is controlled by the Iraqi National Congress of corrupt financier and current vice premier, Ahmad Chalabi. Although apparently only Chalabi’s relatives voted for him in the December 15 elections, he continues to have an outsized impact on Iraq, and not for the better, either. What Mr. Chalabi’s committee does not understand is that the “scientific spirit” is strong enough to deal with all kinds of books, and is violated by making some forbidden and pulling them off the shelves of the university libraries.